*29 JUNE 2016*

*Istanbul attack – shocking acts of barbarity*

I strongly condemn last night’s brutal attacks at the Istanbul International airport that left 36 dead and 150 injured. My prayers are with the victims and their families. What has been inflicted upon them is outrageous beyond words.

Such acts of barbarity are extremely shocking committed anytime, let alone in the holy month of Ramadan. While it has not been made clear what the motive was, the murder of innocent civilians is completely unacceptable.

Initial reports point to ISIL as the culprits of this heinous crime but regardless of who the perpetrators are, there can be absolutely no justification for such merciless and inhuman acts.

As these extremist homicidal groups will be gloating over their deeds as being in the cause of Islam and jihad, I once again urge all Muslims, particularly community and religious leaders, to firmly denounce and categorically reject all their attempts at hijacking the religion.

Indeed, they are the enemies of Islam preaching hate and violence. Let us stand together against them and collectively fight the scourge of terrorism.